Service finally reaches the northern wonderland of Hokkaido.
bullet train
Credit: Image by John Gillespie / CC BY-SA 2.0

Travel in Japan is about to get a whole lot easier. A new bullet train (shinkansen) running from Tokyo to Hakodate is set to debut this Saturday that will link Japan's main island of Honshū with the northernmost island of Hokkaidō for the first time.

The highly anticipated 92-mile trip is expected to take just over four hours—53 minutes faster than the transportation currently available—and it makes use of the undersea Seikan Tunnel, reported the Japan Times.

Outskirt cities currently linked by the bullet train have seen an economic boost since its arrival, with the number of passengers tripling in one year when service from Tokyo was extended from Nagano to Kanazawa, in the Ishikawa Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast. While this debut comes 52 years after bullet train service was introduced between Tokyo and Osaka, there are plans to expand the line over the next 15 years to the region’s capital of Sapporo.

By Jordi Lippe and Jordi Lippe-McGraw